This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
After a rough week for pets flying on United, the airline said Tuesday it’s temporarily suspending pet travel in its cargo holds.
The carrier endured several pet-shipping mishaps last week with animals in its cargo holds, including sending a Kansas family’s dog to Japan, and diverting an Ohio-bound plane after mistakenly loading a dog on the wrong flight. United chartered a private jet to bring the Kansas dog back from Japan, and now the airline says it will pause the PetSafe service, which allows owners to ship their pets in the cargo hold, to evaluate how to improve the program.
PetSafe is a different service than flying with pets in-cabin, which was the case when a French bulldog puppy died last week after a United flight attendant ordered its carrier be placed in the overhead bin. After that incident, United said it would start using brightly colored luggage tags to better differentiate pet carriers from other carry-on bags.
A United spokesman told the Associated Press the airline is not ending the pet shipping program, but it’s taking time to consult with independent experts to improve pet safety. United aims to give crew members more advanced notice about the number of pets flying in the cargo hold, with a ramp supervisor to oversee the loading of pets on the plane and a crew member to verify all animals were properly handled before takeoff.
The evaluation of the pet-shipping program is expected to be completed by May 1.
*Correction: The headline of this story was updated to reflect that new reservations are being suspended.
Featured image by United.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel